The End of Mahathirism
This GE also marks the end of Mahathirism. Mahathir’s long shadow in Malaysian politics Decisively rejected by voters, his brand of Malay nationalism was rejected outright.
The defeat was no ordinary defeat. In Malaysia, all candidates must make a cash deposit before they can stand. They can get the bond back only if he wins 12.4% of the vote in the contested constituency.
Mahathir’s loss in Langkawi was their first election defeat in 53 years, and they finished fourth in a five-corner battle. He only secured his 4,566 votes, or his 6.8% of the vote share, short of the votes needed to get his bond back.
Similarly, his son Muhriz also lost his deposit, suggesting that the Malays do not support the Mahathir dynasty.
Because of this massive defeat and rejection, Mahathir’s political legacy is forever scarred. He should not have tried to come back in this election. History will now record a sad ending to his political career.
At 97, it’s impossible for him to attempt a comeback again. If he had stayed away, history might have viewed him more kindly.
There’s a lot more to be said about GE15, but ultimately what people get out of this election is the rise of the PAS, the changing racial and religious political landscape, and Mahathir’s sad ending. is.
James Chin is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Tasmania and Senior Fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the Jeffrey Chia Institute.